Donated $9m to NUST inspired by army chief Asim Munir’s passion for IT: Pak-US tycoonBreaking

December 06, 2023

American-Pakistani business tycoon Tanweer Ahmed, who has donated $9 million to Islamabad’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST), was inspired by army chief General Asim Munir’s passion and vision for Pakistan’s IT sector. Houston-based Tanweer Ahmed donated $9 million to NUST to help students from poor backgrounds gain access to quality education through scholarships. NUST confirmed that Ahmed entered into a partnership with the university through an Endowment Fund for unprivileged students, which would enable nearly 200 students to get scholarships every year. The donation is one of the single largest donations by any overseas Pakistani to any Pakistani university. Tanweer Ahmed said: “I was excited and thrilled when I came to know about the vision of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir, who is passionate about the IT Sector. I believe that with the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in which the army has assumed an active role, it's a brilliant approach to unlock the true IT potential of Pakistan.”

He added: “I have conceived the idea of NUST Information Technology (IT) Tower for the youth of Pakistan, for which COAS General Asim Munir is leading the effort to harmonise our endeavours. The steps taken by General Asim Munir are commendable and inspiring. No army chief has done as much as Gen Munir has done in just one year for the IT sector of Pakistan and for a clean national economy. He has taken excellent steps to put Pakistan’s economy on the right course.”

The business entrepreneur said Pakistan has essential infrastructure available along with significant public sector investment in resource development. “Pakistan has untapped digital potential of $59.6 billion (Rs9.7 trillion) and FinTech potential of $35 billion by 2025. The IT-based potential is evidenced by a 47% growth in freelancing, which stands at fourth in the world. Pakistan’s youth under 30 years of age is 64% of the population, which is our biggest resource,” he added. Ahmed, who made his fortune in the US food industry, said that only quality education can transform Pakistan to produce its own Sam Altman, Larry Page and Elon Musk.

 He further said he would be taking more initiatives to help Pakistan’s IT and quality education sectors. “The infrastructure being built at NUST will enable Pakistan to host global IT companies, who can establish their IT development and IT-enabled services based in Pakistan, with the NUST IT Tower providing a jumpstart. We have to contribute to Pakistan’s prosperity, bit by bit, cent by cent. We Pakistanis can do it, and we must come together to serve our nation.” Tanweer Ahmed said deserving students would get scholarships annually from his $9 million donation through the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The system to obtain scholarships will be purely based on merit and aimed strictly at those students who are unable to afford a quality and expensive education.

Tanweer Ahmed is an American-Pakistani businessman, investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who works with major companies, not-for-profit organisations, and hospitals. He is the owner of the largest cricket complex in Houston, the Prairie View Cricket Complex, and the owner of the Houston Hurricanes cricket franchise. The multi-millionaire businessman is the founder of a brand of food chains and also owns many franchises like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC. He owns California’s largest transport company and has business interests in the energy sector and medicine industry. Tanweer Ahmed is credited with taking over $50 million in aid to Pakistan during the devastating floods in Pakistan in 2022.

Originally from Sialkot, he started off on a humble note in the US when he migrated as a student and worked in a restaurant. He was then promoted to manager at the same restaurant. He then started his own restaurant business and has now set up multiple businesses and successful companies. Ahmed says that overseas Pakistanis owe it to Pakistan to serve the country of their origin and identity. “We owe it to our motherland because we are where we are because of Pakistan. Our best contribution can be made by empowering our youth with modern education and knowledge. I am happy to play my part in helping Pakistani youth achieve their life goals.”

NUST Rector Engineer Javed Mahmood Bukhari said in a statement that the project is going to perpetually benefit thousands of brilliant Pakistani boys and girls towards seeking world-class university education in coming years. The rector said: “Mr Tanweer Ahmed, a well-known Pakistani-American, philanthropist-businessman from Houston, USA, has partnered with NUST to support the financially challenged students. This is a unique initiative, being the first of its kind in any public sector university of Pakistan. Mr Tanweer is making approximately nine million dollars’ worth of investment in the university’s science and technology park, such that 50% income of the project will go into a specially formed endowment for the students with humble financial background. The initiative has the potential to have a remarkable societal impact in terms of altering the lives of thousands of Pakistani families.” Engineer Bukhari added: “NUST takes pride in this transformational partnership with Tanweer Ahmed, which reflects on shared commitment to advancing educational equity while creating a positive economic impact. With approximately twenty thousand-student population, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Islamabad is one of the most sought universities of Pakistan.”

Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)